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Focus on quality will raise achievement

Hon Hekia Parata
Minister of Education

17 May 2012

Focus on quality will raise achievement

Education Minister Hekia Parata today said the National-led Government’s focus on teaching quality will raise achievement and ensure our young people get the skills they need to reach their potential.

“I’m proud that Budget 2012 will invest an extra $511.9 million into education over the next four years despite the difficult financial environment we are living in,” Ms Parata said.

“As I announced yesterday, that money will be invested into quality frontline education services.

“We are putting an additional $60 million over four years into boosting teacher recruitment and training and we will also continue to invest $304 million in professional learning and development over the next four years.

“The single most important thing we can do to raise achievement is to improve teaching quality.”

Ms Parata also said that a teacher appraisal system will be developed over the next two years in collaboration with the sector, to ensure it is robust and helps improve performance.

“We have to identify who is delivering successful practice and make that common practice,” Ms Parata said.

Ms Parata said the Government’s focus on the quality of teaching rather than further increasing teacher numbers will raise achievement.

“As I announced yesterday, there will be some changes to the funding ratios the Government uses to fund teachers in schools,” Ms Parata said.

“Teacher numbers have grown by over 12 per cent over the past 10 years, while student numbers have risen by just two and a half per cent over the same period – and achievement has plateaued.

“What this tells us is that we should be focusing on improving teaching, rather than continuing to grow the number of teachers.”

Funding ratios will remain the same for new entrants at 1:15. In the crucial NCEA years 11-13 the ratios will standardise to 1:17.3 – which is almost the lowest point of what they are now.

In years 2-10 the funding ratio will standardise to 1:27.5 from the existing range of 1:23 to 1:29.

“90 per cent of schools will either gain, or have a net loss of less than one Full Time Teacher Equivalent (FTTE) as a result of the combined effect of the ratio changes and projected roll growth.

“We will have the same number of teachers across the country at the end of this four-year Budget period as we do now. In any individual year, teacher numbers may rise or fall slightly, but they will stay the same over the four year period.

“The National-led Government is firmly focused on raising achievement for all.

“We want to give our learners the best possible education we can and our focus on quality teaching is part of that.”

ENDS

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